Last week the TV networks reported that when people were asked about memorable events, their responses varied significantly. They concluded, however, that television was a major factor in identifying memorable events.
Age was another factor; for example many of the younger generation did not include the landing on the moon as a memorable event. By the way, it was on July 16, 1969 that Apollo 11 was launched on its way to the moon. It is not surprising, therefore, that the testing of the atomic bomb on July 16, 1945 was not in anyone’s list.
After all, the Manhattan Project was carried out in total secrecy, and so was the test. Unlike the O. J. Simpson trial or the death of Princess Diana, there was no television coverage of the event.
That, notwithstanding, the atomic bomb remains one of the headaches of the modern world. The nightmare that its chief architect, Robert Oppenheimer, feared still haunts humanity 67 years later.
Nations determined to destroy others are still pursuing the device while “peace loving nations” are determined to stop its acquisition. Neighbors, like India and Pakistan, are racing to increase and update their arsenals, not for peace, but for so-called deterrence. And the race continues.
The atomic bomb was, undoubtedly, a very unfortunate human creation and fittingly ought not be memorable. Nevertheless, we would do well to learn from our mistakes and be wiser.